If you’re on LinkedIn (note: you should be), then you have almost certainly received a seemingly random invitation to connect with someone you’ve never met.
This is always tricky.
Maybe it’s a hiring decision maker who thinks your experience matches what they are looking for, and they want to give you a lucrative offer!
Maybe it’s someone who is pandering for job leads, and they are going to exceedingly reach out to you for help you’re not willing to vouch for.
Many people have a strict policy that they aren’t even going to play this game, so they only accept connection invites from people they know, or who work at companies they admire.
But this Mashable article makes a case for accepting these “mysterious” invites. The article was written a couple years ago, but is still relevant. Here’s a preview of why you may want to go ahead and connect:
1. You won’t limit yourself geographically. This thought is all about expanding your “pool”, not only networking with people in other cities, but seeing what kinds of ideas and stories they are sharing on LinkedIn.
2. You open yourself to new opportunities. This has to do with what I wrote above – maybe someone is looking to fill a position, and you are the perfect fit?
3. You can get your foot in the door. This new mystery connection may be connected to others that you want to meet for networking or business purposes. You never know where a connection may lead.
4. You won’t do anything you can’t undo. This is a great point. What’s the worst that could happen? You realize they are mis-using the platform to try to use you, so YOU SIMPLY DELETE THE CONNECTION. It’s that simple.
So the next time you get a random connection request, consider these four thoughts.